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This was the third of the stories of Doctor Who to have more than one incarnation of the character and the third to star Patrick Troughton. It has to be said that I think this was done in an attempt to boost viewing figures due to the unpopularity of Colin Baker's version of the Doctor. Also reprising his role as Jamie is Frazer Hines. Despite the fact that Colin Baker has more screen time it is easy to see that Traughton is by far the superior actor and the better Doctor. This is despite Troughton not playing the character as the child like mischievous imp we saw whilst he was in the role the first time round in this story he is more serious but still has some comic effect to the role.
This was originally shown as three 45 minute episodes from 16/2/1985 to 3/3/85.
I do remember watching bits of this story when it was on BBC1 but only from the last episode.
The second Doctor (Troughton) has found something wrong with the time continuum, and as he is not exactly flavour of the month with the time lords he seeks out an old friend, Dastari, a scientist who is also experimenting with time. When the Doctor arrives he and Jamie find all is not as it should be (is it ever?)
Meanwhile the sixth doctor ( C. Baker) has a rather strange feeling of doom and dread, has something happened to a previous self? He decides there is only one thing to do, visit his old friend, Dastari. But isn't that where his previous self had gone?
Both doctors discover that things are not right and just what are the two Androgum's up to? Why are they in league with the Sontaran's and just what do they want one of the Doctor for?
What I thought of it.
This was the time when Doctor Who started to go down hill faster than a sumo wrestler on roller skates. Whilst Troughton does perform well and is a far superior actor than Baker it is obvious that his heart isn't really in it. Frazer Hines (Jamie) also appears to have lost his fight first think later mentality and he has very little in the way of thing to do. As for Colin Baker well I have never hidden the fact that he is my least favourite actor to have taken the roll although he is only slightly worse than Matt Smith.
In general the story is well written and well acted and whilst the special effects are nothing compared to what they are now and far fewer in number for the budget they would have been working on they haven't done a bad job of it. The part of Chessene (Jacqueline Pearce) is played as someone who is highly intelligent but also very cold and calculating and would sell her own mother if it gave her an advantage. Shockeye (John Stratton) is the Androgum chef who has a bottomless pit as a stomach and will not stop until he has tried the meat of every animal on the planet. Whilst not exactly intelligent and always thinking of his stomach he remains loyal to his Androgum heritage. He is, however, not the type of person you would want your sister to marry. Where Jacqueline Pearce appears to be regretting taking the part John Stratton, it has to be said, appears to be relishing in his part and is perhaps one of the best performances in this story. The part of Oscar (James Saxton) for me just did not work. Whilst the part was well acted for me the character just seamed out of place. Thankfully with the exception of the restaurant scene the use of extras has been kept to a minimum. Whilst there is the odd brief appearance scene these extras tend to have the star trek fate of the 'never seen before bloke in red'. However, one of these deaths is massively over acted.
The settings do work and there were a lot of on location shoots in Spain. This apparently led to problems including make up melting due to the hot weather. This is slightly noticeable at times esp with those playing the Soltarans. The studio shots have also been done well but there is still something low budget and tacky about the space station. It looks in parts like they have overdone the silver spray paint and tin foil. As for the exterior of it well the phrase 'free is special packs of corn flakes' springs to mind.
Summary of the story:
As a stand alone story this does work but I think this would have benefited more from being a single feature length episode like the five doctors was. There are some good performances from the supporting cast and it is good to see Patrick Troughton in the role again. This is, however, where the problem is. This match up just makes it clear how poor Colin Baker's version of the doctor was in comparison to the others.
Jim'll fix it.
A special 10 min run with Colin Baker in the role in response to a letter written to Jim'll fix it (yes I am old enough to remember this). Whilst this had been specially written the acting from Baker and Janet Fielding (Tegan) is rather wooden. Fielding was brought in as Nicola Bryant (Peri) was unavailable at the time it was filmed. As well as the usual 'Jim'll fix it' badge/medal Gareth Jenkins, who wrote the letter, also received one of the Mezon gun props.
You can watch it with the production and cast commentary but this means you can't here what is being said onscreen. Whilst the commentary can be put on as subtitles in place of the voice over I find it hard to follow both at once. (I'm a man - I can't multi task)
Back with my fourth Colin Baker review......
Arriving on a large space station, the Second Doctor & Jamie meet up with the Doctor's old friend Dastari who is in overall charge of the scientific community it is home to. He explains that experiments by two scientists on the station have cause ripples in the time continuum and warns that if the experiments don't stop the fabric of time itself may be punctured. Dastari is angered by the interference of the Timelords and refuses to cease the experiments. The Second Doctor also discovers that Dastari had begun to augment Androgums, a low species marked out by their appetite for food and their capacity for betrayal and destruction.
Chessene, an Androgum augmented by Dastari then disables the space station's defence systems and allows the Sontarans to land. They soon kill the rest of the scientists and kidnap The Doctor.
Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor is sure that something is wrong. He's not quite sure what but he has a feeling. Deciding to consult Dastari, one of the best medical brains in existence he and Peri land on the space station and see the carnage left by the Sontarans. Encountering Jamie they discover what happened to the Second Doctor before the space station was abandoned and, after establishing an astral link with the Second Doctor, follow him to Seville in an attempt to rescue him and prevent Chessene and the Sontarans obtaining the secret of time travel.
The Doctor - Colin Baker
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Peri - Nicola Bryant
Anita - Carmen Gomez
Chessene - Jacqueline Pearce
Dastari - Laurence Payne
Dona Arana - Aimee Delamain
Oscar - James Saxon
Shockeye - John Stratton
Stike - Clinton Greyn
Technician - Nicholas Fawcett
Varl - Tim Raynham
Writer: Robert Holmes
Producer: John Nathan-Turner
Director: Peter Moffatt
+ Commentary with Colin Baker (The Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Jacqueline Pearce (Chessene) and director Peter Moffat.
+ Music-only option:
+ Production Subtitles: Oodles of facts about The Two Doctors, the people in it and the making of the story.
+ A Fix with Sontarans: A clip from Jim'll Fix It in which young fan Gareth Jenkins aids The Doctor (Colin Baker) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) defeat two Sontarans who are in the TARDIS.
+ Behind The Sofa. Robert Holmes & Doctor Who: Producers Barry Letts and Philip Hinchcliffe and writers Terrance Dicks, Chris Boucher and Eric Saward share their thoughts and memories of writer and script editor Robert Holmes.
+ Beneath The Lights: Just under 28 minutes worth of studio material recorded for The Two Doctors. The filming of three different scenes is covered with the aim of demonstrating the practices used in studio to ensure that all the necessary material was filmed.
+ Beneath The Sun: Around 35 minutes of location film footage from Spain. The material is sourced from a non-broadcast VHS source and contains multiple takes of some scenes along with the obligatory clapperboard.
+ 40th Anniversary Celebration: Just over 2 minutes of clips from all eras of Doctor Who set to a re-jigged version of the famous theme tune.
+ Adventures In Time And Spain: Gary Downie, production manager on The Two Doctors talks about the issues and problems experienced during the making of The Two Doctors.
+ Wavelength: A radio 4 programme presented by Andy Peebles and broadcast on 20 September 1984, focussing on the making of The Two Doctors. This includes contributions from Colin Baker (The Doctor), Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Tim Raynham (Varl), John Stratton (Shockeye), director Peter Moffat, producer John Nathan-Turner and other production personnel.
+ Photo Gallery: Just over 8 minutes worth of photos from the story
+ Subtitles: An option to view the extras on Disc Two with subtitles
+ Easter Egg
Broadcast in February and March 1985 this was the fourth story of Colin Baker's first full season, following Attack Of The Cybermen, Vengeance On Varos and The Mark Of The Rani. The separate elements must have seemed a good idea on paper. Take one previous Doctor and popular companion (Second Doctor and Jamie), add in a popular adversary (the Sontarans) and allow an experienced script writer (Robert Holmes) to whip the required elements (3 episodes and a Spanish setting) into a satisfying mix for the viewers. Unfortunately due to various factors what we actually end up with is a rather unsatisfying mish-mash of a story.
Let's start with the positives. Both Patrick Troughton (Second Doctor) and Frazer Hines (Jamie) are on fine form and slip effortlessly back into their old characters. The on-screen chemistry that they had in their episodes from the 1960s is still evident, although the script never actually gives them anything great to do.
John Stratton puts in a larger than life performance as Shockeye, a murderous Androgum who thinks of nothing but food and eating. His current obsession is to sample a Tellurian (human) and he thinks of little else but getting his hands on one and sinking his teeth into the delicious flesh. I don't think that there's any half-way house with this character. You'll either love the outrageousness of him or you'll detest him. Personally I think he's one of the more interesting characters in what is a rather lacklustre story.
The sets are, on the whole, good and don't look any more dated than sets from other episodes from the same time do. Likewise the special effects stand up reasonably well for the time. The Spanish scenery (what we see of it) looks very picturesque and this makes a nice change from some of the other more studio bound stories in the season such as Vengeance On Varos and following story Timelash (to be reviewed soon!)
What lets the whole thing down is the script which is stretched far too thinly to cover 3 episodes lasting around 45 minutes apiece. The whole thing degenerates into a series of escapes, pursuits and captures, especially from episode 2 onwards with very little else of substance to hold the interest of the viewer. The main thrust of the plot (to prevent Chessene and the Sontarans from obtaining the ability to time travel) seems to take a back seat for much of the time as the "action" concentrates on this escape / pursuit / capture merry go round. And quite why the decision was taken to film near Seville in Spain when we don't actually get to see very much of the countryside or surrounding area is a bit of a mystery.
On the acting front Jacqueline Pearce (Chessene) seems to think she's still playing Servalan from Blakes 7 in many scenes and Laurence Payne (Dastari) looks terminally bored, a feeling which, I'm sure will be shared by a large percentage of any audience watching this story. There are also a few risible scenes in the last episode (Chessene licking the sixth Doctor's blood and Shockeye stabbing one character with a knife before "legging it" ~ I won't say who that is!) which leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth. Shockeye's stabbing of this particular character adds nothing to the script and seems rather unnecessary whilst the blood licking scene is just a step too far in my opinion.
In terms of extras there should be enough on this two disc set to satisfy even the most demanding Who fan. There's "Beneath The Lights " and "Beneath The Sun" if you're the sort of person who likes to see the raw footage from filming, there's "Wavelength" if you're interested in the opinions of people who were involved with The Two Doctors and, if you're in the mood for something non-story specific there's the rather good "Behind The Sofa featurette which looks at the contribution that Robert Holmes made to the programme. The production subtitles are, as always, excellent and provide lots of background detail about the filming process and the actors and other personnel that worked on this particular story, although there is a little repetition on a few points.
Overall then this is a fairly weak Colin Baker story which is recommended mainly for Dr. Who completists or Colin Baker fans. The more casual WHO viewer is unlikely to find anything here to engage and retain the interest.
Season Twenty Two Rankings:
01) Vengeance On Varos
02) The Mark Of The Rani
03) The Two Doctors
04) Attack Of The Cybermen
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 2
Studio: 2 Entertain Video
DVD Release Date: 8 Sep 2003
Run Time: 134 minutes
Useful websites worth a visit.
What I am reviewing is the two disk DVD Doctor Who story "The Two Doctors"
As the series had success with The Three Doctors in 1972/3 and The Five Doctors in 1983 for special anniversary editions they decided these were very good storylines but due to the actors not all of them could appear all the time.
The show decided to do another story of the Doctor meeting his former self and this was possible due to the enthusiasm of Patrick Troughton. Patrick was always up for apperaring in these stories and loved the show.
With the current cast of Colin Baker as the Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri they were joined by Patrick and Frazer Hines who played Jamie from Patricks time as the doctor 1966-69.
Also apperaring in the cast was Jacqueline Pearce who you may remember as "Servalan" in Blakes 7
This was not an anniversary show but a story that was in my opinion one of the best of the Colin Baker years 1984-86.
Colin had the shortest time reigning as the Doctor (only eight stories) and as the BBC wanted a change in 1986 they did not renew Colins contract.
This story was set in Spain for the location filming with the cast and crew getting a bit of sun while away from England !
The Two Doctors
The Second Doctor and Jamie are looking into unauthorised experiments with time travel aboard the space station Camera which Dastari is carrying out.
Whilst looking into this they come under attack from the Sontarans, the Doctor is captured and Jamie manages to escape.
At the same time the sixth doctor and Peri materialise with the Tarid on the same planet. He decides to look up Dastari who he has heard about. The Doctor has a strange sense when he arrives as if something is wrong or missing.
The Doctor and Peri meet up with a terrified Jamie who has been hiding, he tells them that the Doctor has been killed .
This three part story was broadcast between 16 February - 2 March 1985
Commentary with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, Jaqueline Pearce, and Peter Moffatt.
This commentary is very well laid out by the cast and also the enthusiasm that they all put into it. This has lots of information and is worth listing to.
In a fix with the Sontarans - This was the Jim'll fix it special from 1985 with a young boy getting his wish to star in an adventure with the Doctor. Quite unusual but Janet Fielding was in this as Nicola Bryant could not be there. Janets last time in Doctor Who was in the Peter Davison story "Resurrection of the Daleks"
This was every boys dream at the time and the lucky boy was Gareth Jenkins.
Behind the sofa : Robert Holmes and Doctor Who
This was writer Robert Holmes last Doctor Who story and this 45 minute documentary looks back on all his work from the series
Beneath the lights
This is a 25 minute studio recording showing the retakes, take outs and behind the scenes of the series
Adventures in time and Spain
Production manager Gary Downie takes you through what the production manager does on the show, the sets, the locations, the making of, the setbacks, and much more
This is a half hour Radio 4 school programme which was on the making of The Two Doctors. This edition was broadcast 20 September 1984. The cast involved are Colin baker, Nicola Bryant, Patrick Troughton, John Nathan Turner, Peter Moffatt, just to name a few
This has a detailed set of photos from the story on and off the set and is very enjoyable to look through.
This has easy to navigate screens with footage from the story in the background.
Sadly this was Patrick Troughtons last ever appearance as the Doctor as he died later that year. He was one of the best Doctors and gave all in his appearances.
All in all I found this story to be one of the best of Colin Bakers career and with the guest appearance of Patrick Troughton really made the story. I thought it had a very good storyline and paced out well.
The characters are very well done especially the Androgums and I thought that the location filming in Spain had a different angle.
The make up for the Sontarans I thought had got a lot better over the years and was good to see these characters again.
The episodes had a good 45 minutes each which I thought was another bonus as the show did not have to rush into 25 minute episodes.
The performances were very good, I especially liked Pat Troughtons as he brought great enthusiasm every time he played the Doctor again.
The sound quality on this is very good being Dolby Digital and picture was excellent.
Some of the special features were good and enjoyable and I really like the commentaries, but must admit was not too keen on some of the documentaries, I don't think that they had enough from the actors or enough about making the story.
This did warrant a two disk set but I don't think that anyone would watch the special features more than once as they were not enjoyable as some on other disks.
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
The Doctor - Colin Baker
Peri - Nicola Bryant
Chessene - Jacqueline Pearce
Shockeye - John Stratton
Dastari - Laurence payne
I hope you have all enjoyed this review and has been some help.
Doctor Who: The Two Doctors is one of those occasional adventures in which the then-current Doctor joins forces with one of his former incarnations, here Colin Baker's sixth Doctor with Patrick Troughton's second Doctor. In the epic Three Doctors (1972-3) such a team-up faced a suitably overwhelming danger; here the threat is rather less impressive. This adventure starts encouragingly enough, with Troughton and Jamie (Frazer Hines) investigating time-travel experiments on a space station, which endanger the fabric of the universe. Baker's Doctor and Peri (Nichola Bryant) arrive in the aftermath of a massacre and suspect the Timelords; but events lead them to Spain and old enemies the Sontarans. Also involved is alien schemer Chessene (Jacqueline Pearce) in a role not dissimilar to her Servalan from Blake's 7, while John Stratton as Shockeye, a food-obsessed alien "Androgum" chef is vastly entertaining. Despite location filming in Seville, the three 45-minute episodes eventually stretch the material too thinly, degenerating into some of the most farcical scenes in the history of Who. The story becomes a repetitive series of double-crosses, escapes and pursuits, featuring an unnecessary obsession with cannibalistic comedy-horror. Despite many fine moments along the way The Two Doctors ultimately leaves a Bad Taste. On the DVD: Doctor Who: The Two Doctors is offered with an as-good-as-possible 4:3 picture, which exposes the limitations of the original video footage. The sound is excellent mono and the first disc also offers an isolated track of Peter Howell's striking musical score and an engaging commentary with director Peter Moffatt, Frazer Hines and Jacqueline Pearce. A Fix with Sontarans (9 mins) is a specially made mini-adventure, with Colin Baker and Janet Fielding returning as Tegan, made for the then hugely popular Jim'll Fix It. The highlight of Disc Two is Behind the Sofa: Robert Holmes and Doctor Who a new 45-minute documentary with series luminaries Chris Boucher, Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts and Eric Saward remembering the writer. Of more specialist interest to would-be programme makers is Adventures in Time and Spain (29 mins), in which Production Manager Gary Downie charmingly recalls the problems of finding the Spanish locations. Beneath the Lights is a 27-minute compilation of studio footage centred on Baker and Bryant filming three scenes, while Beneath the Sun complies video location rushes, which at 36 minutes with poor picture quality is for completists only. Wavelength (1984) is an interesting 29-minute edition of the BBC Schools radio documentary series giving an in-depth look at the making of Doctor Who in general. Finally there's an animated, scored photo gallery. Overall this is an exhaustively comprehensive presentation that will satisfy the even the most serious Who fan. --Gary S Dalkin